Sunday, March 22, 2009

Candy Frankenstein Parody

Twix candy imitates the famous "flower girl" sequence from Frankenstein

Link: YouTube

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Hate "Shippers"

In the good old days of science fiction, love triangles usually ended with one contender getting eliminated, usually either at the hands of the alien or monster or by becoming the alien or monster. George Lucas introduced a new twist to the formula when he eliminated Luke from the Luke-Lea-Han triangle by making Luke and Lea siblings.

Usually shows only worked out relationship details in the final seconds of the program and many of the best shows had male and female characters who simply never developed any romantic interest in each other.

Things started to change in the 1990's with The X Files. Initially Mulder and Scully were about as sexually interested in each other as Dr. Who and his many female side-sicks, but producers noticed a huge spike in female viewers every time Mulder got close enough to touch Scully, and in the interest of broadening their audience, the phenomenon of "shipper" fans was born.

I've always hated shippers. On a show with aliens, monsters and secret government conspiracies, who's sleeping with who just never seemed all that important. Sure, Scully was hot-looking, but hot babes have been a part of sci-fi from the beginning, nobody really cared about their relationships though, just how hot they looked with a laser gun.

Lost is a show with time machines, smoke monsters, the living dead and possibly alien four toed Egyptian statues, yet there are people watching the show who only really care about who ends up with Kate. I totally dig Evangeline Lilly's character when she's doing stuff that doesn't involve her possible future relationships, and I even think it's kind of cool how she ended up with Charlie the Hobbit in real life, but when the show turns to issues of Jack, Kate and Sawyer, I usually tune it out.

The Lost/Kate Top Ten List
To resolve my disgust over the shipper issues in Lost, I've come up with an alternative list of contenders in the who-ends-up-with-Kate sweepstakes. Some of them will have to return from the dead, but on Lost that's completely possible and I'm totally cool with it.

10: Christian Shepard.
9: Ben
8: Tom/Mr Friendly
7: Ruseau (I'm down with the L-Word)
6: Frank Lapidus
5: Keamy
4: Vincient
3: Mikhail the one-eyed Russian
2: Doc Artz
1: Frogurt "It's Neil Goddamit!!"

With Kate out of the way, Jack and Sawyer can fight it out over Juliette and young Ellie Hawking

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Sci Fi Channel is Now SyFy

The SciFi Channel announced monday that they were changing their name to SyFy in an effort to broaden their appeal to non-geeky audiences.

The phrase SciFi to stand for Science Fiction was first coined by Forest J Ackerman who thought it sounded like Hi- Fi radios. Harlan Ellison didn't like the phrase and said it sounded like crickets having sex, which prompted Uncle Forry supporters to have buttons made saying "I love Copulating Crickets."

For most fans the phrases Sci-Fi and Science Fiction are probably permanantly interchangable, but not so for NBC the owners of the SyFy channel. They haven't said yet what programming changes will go with the name change, but you have to think they wouldn't go to the trouble of changing their name without changing the lineup as well. Gone also is the ringed planet logo, replaced by the phrase "imagine greater".

So what do you think? Was this a good idea or a bad idea right up there with the New Coke in the 1980's.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Giant Crabs Invade Detroit and New York

Link: YouTube

Werewolf on LOST

Here's a fun bit of trivia

On LOST, Jon Gries, who plays Ben's dad, Roger was also in one of my favorite movies of the 1980's. He played the human form of the Wolfman in The Monster Squad

Sunday, March 8, 2009

75'th Anniversary King Kong Short Film

This short film produced at the Art Institute of California features interviews with Ray Harryhausen and Bob Burns

75th Anniversary King Kong from Anthony Helmer on Vimeo.

The Last Stop-Motion Dinosaurs

From the earliest days of cinema, dinosaurs have been notable and extremely popular subjects. Willis O'Brien produced the first three-dimensional dinosaur films using the stop-motion technique that, for many years, became the preferred method of presenting dinosaurs on screen.

With films like, The Lost World (1925) and King Kong (1933), Willis O'Brien invented the stop-motion dinosaur film genre. Ray Harryhausen followed in the tradition with remarkable films like One Million Years BC (1966) and The Valley of Gwangi (1969) and Jim Danforth continued the genre with When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970).

Phil Tippett was one of the last stop-motion artists working in the O'Brien style. He provided most of the stop-motion work in the Star Wars films and made some really remarkable and beautiful stop-motion work for the film Dragonslayer (1981)

The Last Dinosaur Movie
When Jurassic Park came out in 1993, it amazed audiences with its computer generated special effects, but many long-time dinosaur film fans recognized it as the end of an era. After Jurassic Park, the stop-motion dinosaur movie would be obsolete.

When Stephen Spielberg began producing Jurassic Park, he hired Tippett to render the dinosaurs as stop-motion. One sequence, showing a herd of gallamimus fleeing the T-Rex was considered too complex for stop-motion, so Spielberg hired a crew to experiment with the new technology of computer generated images to render the effect.

Spielberg was so pleased with the gallamimus tests, he allowed the CGI team to experiment rendering the tyrannosaurus rex using their technique: a decision that would spell the end of the stop-motion dinosaur film. The CGI tyrannosaurus tests provided a level of realism no stop-motion dinosaur film ever could and Spielberg decided to use the technique instead of any stop-motion work in Jurassic Park. he retained Tippett to provide motion input for the CGI dinosaurs via electronic models, but there would be no stop-motion dinosaur films after Jurassic Park.

Although it never had a theatrical release, the stop-motion dinosaur film would have one last hurrah before Jurassic Park. Dinosaur! produced in 1985, was a television documentary about dinosaurs. It was hosted by actor Christopher Reeve and featured, what many consider, some of the best stop-motion dinosaur work ever. Animated by Phil Tippet working out of his garage studio, Dinosaur! presented several really remarkable sequences of stop-motion dinosaurs imitating the well-known style of wildlife documentary film.

Tippet went to great lengths to make sure his stop-motion puppets were as scientifically accurate as possible. The animation was remarkable. Fluid and life-like, these sequences are beautiful to watch. Not only were the dinosaurs themselves incredible, but Tippett returned to O'Briens original style of creating elaborate miniature settings for his stop-motion puppets that are as remarkable as the puppets themselves. Tippett's work in Dinosaurs! would garner him an Emmy award for special effects.

Unavailable on DVD you can get an idea of how great Dinosaurs! was with this Clip from You Tube:

Link: You Tube

Dinoasur! (1985) Credits:
Robert Guenette ......Director
Steven Paul Mark.....Writer
Robert Guenette.......Executive producer
Steven Paul Mark.....Executive producer
Philip Hurn................Cinematography
Phil Tippett...............Special photographic effects

How Wings Are Attached to the Backs of Angels

This macabre short film by Craig Welch reminds me of the work of Edward Gorey and H.R. Geiger, with a bit of David Lynch. I won't bother deconstructing this wordless, animated film. You can do that on your own. I found it both fascinating and beautiful.

Link: You Tube

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Special King Kong vs Godzilla Screening

New Hampshire based Horror Host show the SATURDAY FRIGHT SPECIAL is hosting a screening of the 1962 classic King Kong vs Godzilla.

The show is April 24 at the Colonial Theatre in Keene, NH at 7:00 pm. Universal Studios produced a brand new 35mm print of the film, shown for the first time at this screening.

Besides the main feature, SATURDAY FRIGHT SPECIAL will also screen vintage monster movie previews, and costumed characters from SATURDAY FRIGHT SPECIAL will give away DVDs and T-shirts.

Legendary comic artist Steve Bissette is helping promote The Spooktacular event by donating SIX sets of signed copies of his critically acclaimed, dinosaur-themed title TYRANT, and an original KING KONG vs GODZILLA sketch done just for this program.

Tickets will be $10 and available either at the door or via the Colonial's website:

Friday, March 6, 2009

Paintings of Crypto and Mythical Beasts

Christopher Bonnette is a Los Angeles artist who produces some really cool and unique paintings of mythical and cryptozoological creatures shown at his website. Below are some of my favorites.




Visit for lots and lots more!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lost Theory: How Richard Became Ageless

One of the bigger mysteries in Lost is why Richard Alpert never ages.

We know very little about Richard. Where he comes from and how he came to be on the island are completely unknown to us. I can't give any insight to those questions, but I think I may have an idea why he never ages.

One of the oldest western myths is that of the fountain of youth. It's the story of a fountain hidden somewhere and people who drink from it never age.

On the Lost island, we know there's something underground with the ability to manipulate both space and time. We know there's a room near this hidden power source with a single device that, when turned, moves the whole island in time and transports the operator in space. We call it the frozen donkey wheel. The Dharma initiative built the Orchid Station deep underground, near this frozen donkey wheel, to conduct experiments in time travel.

Besides the Orchid Station though, there's also a well, built much earlier, that leads directly to the frozen donkey wheel room. We don't yet know who built it. This is how our man Locke reached the frozen donkey wheel to stop the island skipping in time.

Normally people don't build wells so guys can crawl down a rope to reach subterranean chambers. Usually people build wells to hold and retrieve subterranean water. When Locke went down the well there was no water, but was there at one time?

It looks like an ordinary well with a rope for lowering and pulling up a bucket full of water. If this well once had water, wouldn't that water come in contact with whatever power source makes the frozen donkey wheel work?

If water came in contact with the power source, might it give the water unusual properties? Properties related to time? Could this water with unusual time properties make people who drink it stop aging?

If Richard is indeed indigenous to the island, and never ages, he might at one time lived on the island when there was water in the well and drank that water with unusual properties that made him stop aging.

At some point, the well ran dry and then someone filled it with earth, but before that, when there was water in the well, could it have been the fabled fountain of youth?

Thanks to Melanie from the Dark UFO Chatroom for helping me formulate this theory

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

R2D2 In His Own Words

You weren't the only one who thought Star Wars Episode One sucked. Watch this rare video clip with R2D2's electronic language translated into english subtitles.

Link: You Tube